Abazar A. Bagi Hamid grew up in the cultural belt between Sudan and the Gulf, and his music is both rooted in traditional Sudanese and African music characteristic of the Gulf area, and heavily inspired by reggae and Afro-Latin music. Abazar Hamid’s songs dare subjects ranging from peace, friendship and unity to genocide, the loss of loved ones and songs of lament over entire towns wrecked by the Sudanese government.
Abazar Hamid started singing for peace in Sudan at an early age, and formed his first band, “Balsam”, at university. In 1997, he became well-known at regional level when he joined “IGD ELGLAD”, and in 2005, he quit his job as an architect to start his solo career, launching the project “Rainbow Songs”. The project brought together musicians from across Sudan, aiming to slip lyrics about Human Rights and dignity past the music monitoring committee.
In 2006 he worked with various organizations training traditional Arab Hakama singers – colloquially called Janjaweed singers – in Darfur. The idea behind the project was to convince the Hakama singers to rather take a more active part in the peace movement.
Abazar Hamid released his first solo album, “Sabahak Rabah” (“Good Morning Home”) in 2007 but experienced increasing censorship in his home country. Songs dealing with social and political issues riding Sudan were especially scrutinized, and after severe censorship and verbal threats, Abazar chose exile and moved to Cairo in 2008.
In 2009 he established the project “democratizing music” in collaboration with other Sudanese and Egyptian musicians, as a forum to share resources rather than fighting each other. The project yielded several events and performances, and his song “Peace to Darfur” which had previously been censored in Sudan, was included and released as part of the “Listen to the Banned” CD.
Abazar A. Bagi Hamid arrived in Harstad on 10 December 2014 as the first ICORN musician to be hosted by the city.
03.March 2016 Interview: PEN Catalan speaks with Abazar Hamid